Why Do Hedgehogs Burrow in Lawns?

Numerous animals, such as rabbits, beavers, and even hedgehogs, are known for their unique burrowing skills.

Therefore, many people with lawns in their backyards are worried about hedgehog burrows. However, instead of worrying, let’s understand why hedgehogs burrow in gardens and lawns.

Keep reading this blog post to learn more.

Reasons Hedgehogs Burrow in Lawns

Here are some of the most popular reasons you’ll find hedgehogs creating space in your lawns.

Building a Shelter

The shelter is one of the basic needs of humans and animals. Therefore, many animals, including hedgehogs, burrow in lawns and create a space for themselves.

Your trained pets might not show such behaviors. However, with hedgehog species roaming wild, you can expect these issues.

Hedgehogs mainly need someplace where they can hibernate for the winter. Not only do they need narrow spaces for packing enough heat, but they also need additional layering for weatherproofing.

Therefore, you’ll usually find a leaf pile around hedgehog burrows as they protect them from harsh weather conditions while packing in thermal energy.

You can also look for hedgehogs in rabbit holes, as these burrows are pre-dug and don’t require extensive effort.

Gain Access Somewhere

Instead of staying in a place, some hedgehogs burrow to gain access elsewhere. Hence, these burrows act as a tunnel for hedgehogs to allow them to travel easily.

You won’t find hedgehog burrows and tunnels as wide as that rabbits since they are significantly smaller in size.

Moreover, if hedgehogs need to cross a surface or a fence, they need very little space to pass. Hence, they’ll scrape away the soft soil and quickly pass toward the other side.

However, tunnels are ways for hedgehogs to search for food, especially when these creatures have to work harder to find the food they’re looking for. This reason brings us to our next point.

Get Food Easily

If you have mature hedgehogs around your garden, be prepared to find massive burrows. These burrows are mainly hedgehog’s attempt to access food.

Mature hedgehogs are better diggers since they learn this behavior from the day they’re born.

Moreover, mature hedgehogs also have stronger nails which assist them in chasing their underground treats.

Hedgehogs don’t have a great visual sense. Therefore, they mostly rely on their auditory and olfactory senses to find food.

Any favorite hedgehog’s food (insects and worms) scraping through the surface even three inches away is prone to a hedgehog attack.

Hence, you can look for hedgehog burrows around your lawn, especially if you have many insects or nematode infestation.

Do Hedgehogs Harm the Lawns?

Hedgehogs are known for their nibbling habits as they forage for small insects, usually hiding around tall grass.

Therefore, hedgehogs may also nibble on the grass while searching for their actual food.

However, this nibbling isn’t extremely dangerous for your lawns as the small creatures don’t necessarily feed on the lawn’s greens.

Despite that, there are chances of developing brown patches around your lawn if the nibbling is extensive. This issue is usually prevalent around lawns that have tall grass.

Consequently, the areas where hedgehogs have searched intensively for their food immediately stand out, making your lawn look unkempt.

However, it’s essential to note that hedgehogs don’t destroy your lawns or cause irreversible or expensive damage to your gardens.

How to Identify Hedgehog Burrows Around Your Lawns

Even if wild hedgehogs attack your lawns, you’ll have to be sure it’s hedgehogs and not some other animals. To identify hedgehog burrows, you must look for the following signs:

  • Hedgehog footprints that you can only observe on soft soil as these animals are relatively lightweight
  • Hedgehog droppings are mainly dark brown or black and cylindrical
  • Grunting or hissing noises at night as these nocturnal creatures search for their food with their sense of smell

Ways to Keep Your Lawns Safe from Hedgehog Burrows

Let’s discuss some of the ways to keep your lawn protected from hedgehog burrows.

Mow the Lawn Regularly

To avoid hedgehogs burrowing your lawns, you must keep your lawn mowed. As discussed, tall grasses are better shelters for insects. Hedgehogs chasing these delicious foods will likely nibble on the grass as well.

However, if you have a mowed lawn, the insects and worms won’t have any place to hide and will be visible for hedgehogs to feast on, saving your lawn from damage.

Remove Insect and Nematode Infestation

As insects and worms are the favorite food of omnivorous hedgehogs, you must ensure clearing insect and nematode infestation around your lawn.

Doing so will attract fewer wild hedgehogs to your garden and keep it relatively safe from burrows.

Set Up Their Food Source

Do you want to stop the hedgehogs from burrowing in your lawn? How about setting up a food source for the hedgehogs that aren’t invasive?

You can use an unwanted dish or animal food bowl to set up their favorite food and water sources for hedgehogs.

However, since wild hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, you’ll only witness the remnants of the food the next day.

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs certainly tend to burrow in lawns, especially if they find a great place to build their shelter.

Hedgehogs also look for tiny insects and worms to feed on, which usually hide around grass, ruining the aesthetics of your lawns.

Hence, you must keep the lawn mowed and not allow your hedgehog near the lawn.

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